WCPSS final exam testing update

Wake+County+Public+School+System%27s+final+exam+update+shares+information+about+new+testing+accommodations+with+the+county.++

Graphic by Jordyn Brautman

Wake County Public School System’s final exam update shares information about new testing accommodations with the county.

Jordyn Brautman, News Editor

On November 17, 2020 the Wake County Public School System published an update regarding final exams and EOCs (End of Course exams). Students taking state tests such as EOCs and CTE assessments will be required to complete their testing on campus. Going into the building for exams after being online all semester may have different effects on each student and their performance on exams. 

Not every student will be taking an EOC or CTE assessment this semester. For the students not taking a state test, they will be taking teacher-made exams depending on which classes they are currently enrolled in. Teachers have been given the option to create a teacher-made exam or create a final project in place of the exam. All teacher-made exams will be available and taken in an online setting. 

Seniors in high school are eligible to be exempt from taking their exams if they have an average of a C or higher in their class. The seniors who will graduate in 2021 are working on completing their college applications and figuring out plans for the future. 

“This year, as a senior, being exempt from final exams makes it much easier to keep up with much more important issues like college applications and scholarships,” said senior Anthony Yassa. 

Seniors have had to adjust to having their last year of high school online. Many seniors are excited to be exempt from their exams as it is taking off a layer of stress that comes with balancing online school and applying for college. 

“I imagine most of us have already been accepted into colleges or are applying during exams,” said senior Isabelle Webb, “so it may take a bunch of the stress off us.” 

We want every family and every student to do what makes them feel comfortable in this situation”

— Keefer

Wake County has created a “floor” of a 60 for the exam. The “floor” will prevent students from receiving anything lower than a 60 on the exam so it will not impact their grade in a negative way. This was created because WCPSS believes that a state exam should not be the singular reason of a student failing a course in which they would have otherwise earned a passing grade.

While it is mandatory that EOCs and CTE assessments be taken in-person, there must be certain exceptions. If a student or family member of a student has a health concern and does not feel comfortable going in-person for their exam, they may submit a medical exception request from their school. If this form is not completed, and a student does not test, they will receive an incomplete (INC) for the course. Additionally, students who do not test in the fall may take their test during the spring testing window (May/June). 

“We want every family and every student to do what makes them feel comfortable in this situation,” said Beth Keefer,  Assistant Principal. 

While Governor Cooper has decided that all North Carolina students take their EOCs and CTEs on campus, many people are wondering whether this decision will be changed. The number of COVID-19 cases are still on the rise, and it is debatable whether it is responsible and safe for students to be required to test in the building. 

If in-person testing does still occur, Wakefield’s administration and staff will be putting safety measures into place by enforcing social distancing, mask-wearing, health screenings upon arrival, and implementing new dismissal procedures. 

“As a parent, I had anxiety about sending my child to school,” said Amy Russell, the testing coordinator at Wakefield. “But I trust the administration and staff to protect my child to the best of their ability.”

Wakefield staff is looking forward to having students back in the building even though it is just for testing. They are working hard to ensure a safe testing environment for all students and Wakefield is approaching this situation with all hands on deck. 

“I think one of the things we have learned during this whole ordeal is that we have to be in it together and that’s what we’re going to do,” Keefer said.